Ghana football authorities must be worried over their return World Cup playoff clash against Egypt in Cairo in November after two suicide bombers died in their attempt to attack Nigeria’s game against Ethiopia over the weekend.
Two Somali suicide bombers who had planned to kill soccer fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria on Sunday blew themselves up accidentally before carrying out the attack, the Ethiopian government said on Monday.
The revelation will spark worries for Ghana who had complained to FIFA about playing their return World Cup clash against Egypt in Cairo in the wake of the turmoil in the north African country.
The Black Stars are billed to face the Pharaohs on the 19 November in Cairo but the political violence that has seen many killed over the past two weeks prompted Ghana to ask for the game to be played at a neutral venue.
With Islamists protesters fighting security forces with some suicide attacks in some parts of the country, Ghana have argued that they could be subjected to such attacks when they play in Cairo.
The explosion on Sunday happened in the upscale Bole district of the capital, about 5 km (3 miles) from Addis Ababa Stadium where thousands of fans were gathering for the match.
“They were Somali nationals and plotted to carry out a suicide attack disguised as fans on either the stadium or areas where large crowds gathered to watch the game,” government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said.
Explosives, arms, hand grenades and football shirts were found at the scene of the blast, at a residential address an hour before kick-off, Shimeles said.
Three suspects were detained. The Bole district has a small Somali refugee community.
“Heavy police presence must have caused their nervousness and state of agitation which led to the detonation that caused their own death,” Shimeles said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Egypt played all of its home World Cup qualifying matches behind closed doors at a time when the violence was low because of fears that there could be violent attacks.
However the Egyptian FA wants to play the return leg of their final qualifier against Ghana before fans at a time when the violence in Egypt is high.